The Valdai Dialogue Membership is a Russian suppose tank and dialogue discussion board, established in 2004. Some members of the Russian ruling elite collect there yearly, to debate with high-level international friends, normally, Putin regime supporters. The Russian president, who goes there yearly, has not modified his behavior. On October 21, 2021, in Sochi, he gave a half-hour speech earlier than answering questions from the viewers for 3 hours. This speech was praised by propagandists of the regime as a philosophical speech worthy of Plato or Marcus Aurelius.
Putin’s speech was a focus of the standard clichés, primarily based on myths and notions widespread amongst his compatriots. For instance, he stated, “One can have any perspective in direction of Stalin, however in actuality the Russian authorities fought to keep away from conflict.” He apparently referred to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (1939), which allowed the USSR to grab a substantial a part of Poland, in addition to the Baltic States and Romanian and Hungarian territories, in full settlement with Hitler. And to develop this deep thought, Putin stated that “we are able to blame the leaders of our nation within the interval between 1917 and 1990, however it’s completely unacceptable to place the communists on the identical degree because the Nazis, it’s a lie.”
It ought to be remembered that the Soviet focus camps often called the Gulag noticed 20 million individuals go by way of between 1930 and 1956, and no less than two million inmates died there, not counting practically 700,000 shot in 1937-38 alone. Tons of of 1000’s of foreigners have been amongst these zeks [prisoners], however the principle mass have been Soviet residents. Was Soviet totalitarianism much less reprehensible in its practices than Hitler’s one ?
Along with historical past, Putin additionally touched on philosophical points. He made it identified that he learn Ilyin, Berdyaev and different Russian philosophers of the primary half of the 20th century, who fled the Bolshevik regime or have been expelled on Lenin’s orders. If Ilyin’s identify is sort of unknown within the West, it’s widespread in Russia: he’s studied in faculties and universities, and Putin usually quotes him. However who was Ilyin? Like all Slavophiles, he was an anti-Soviet, monarchist, and welcomed the Nazis to energy in Germany.
In 1933, he wrote: “I categorically refuse to contemplate the occasions of the final three months in Germany from the standpoint of German Jews… What is occurring in Germany is a gigantic political and social revolution… What has Hitler completed? He has stopped the method of Bolshevization in Germany and has completed an ideal service to Europe… So long as Mussolini guidelines Italy and Hitler guidelines Germany, European tradition enjoys a reprieve…” Later, Ilyin modified his thoughts about Hitler (the Gestapo didn’t like him), and he left for Switzerland, however his authoritarian and reactionary convictions, which attraction to Putin, haven’t modified.
The one novelty of Putin’s speech was fairly within the sphere of social thought. Thus, for the primary time, he predicted the upcoming finish of capitalism: “Everybody says that the prevailing mannequin of capitalism — which is the premise of the social order within the overwhelming majority of nations at this time — is exhausted; there isn’t any method out of the tangle of more and more convoluted contradictions that make it up.” This sentence, which repeats the ideological clichés of Marxism, is definitely meant for his personal individuals. Whereas asserting that there could be no revolution in Russia, the place a conservative regime primarily based on conventional societal values reigns, Putin warns in only veiled phrases: the center class, which is much much less quite a few than in Western nations (roughly 15% of the inhabitants), and which has been in a position to obtain a sure lifestyle with out essentially serving the regime, is doomed to a type of dekulakization. The Russian authorities will proceed to grab wholesome companies and sue their house owners merely to strip them of their belongings and destroy the opposition’s breeding floor. However the individuals concerned have been feeling the pinch for some time: the Rublyovka district close to Moscow, the place rich individuals and the true new wealthy used to dwell, has virtually emptied out, and there’s no one to purchase up the usually luxurious property of homeowners who’ve fled overseas.
These platitudes, interspersed with threats, uttered by the Russian president, have been instantly applauded in a caricatured method by propagandists of the regime. The Golden Palm of sycophancy definitely goes to Sergei Markov, a political scientist, former diplomat and politician, near the Kremlin.
Excerpts: “Putin’s speech in Valdai confirmed that Putin is a contemporary thinker on the throne. However he has no interlocutors worthy of him. Most of those that declare to belong to the Russian liberal intelligentsia have been merely unable to understand the concepts expressed by Putin. Putin’s speech and remarks are filled with concepts about fashionable society and human improvement. It’s the speech of a topped thinker. It’s identified that intellectuals of all nations have been dreaming of a thinker prince for hundreds of years, following Plato. Lastly he has come, this thinker sovereign, and he’s the president of our Russia. And our intellectuals are fully unable to understand him. They’re by no means glad. And so they don’t have anything to oppose Putin in substance; in order that they resort to sarcasm and trolling. This manner they present their incapacity. The Russian liberal intelligentsia is an indignity. Putin dangers being a thinker on the throne who stays misunderstood. Like Marcus Aurelius, the Emperor and Stoic thinker, who was not understood throughout his lifetime…”
In parallel with the destruction of freedoms in Russia, the cult of character is intensifying round Putin. We aren’t removed from the epithets with which Stalin was as soon as lined: nice helmsman, father of the peoples, nice builder of communism, sensible theoretician, and many others. In a way, the picture of Putin as a thinker prince, Marcus Aurelius of the 21st century, goes even additional. Nonetheless, the cult of Stalin’s character was accompanied by an imperialist international coverage, mass purges and nice poverty of the peoples of the USSR. Might this be the vector for the event of Russian society? Every little thing appears to level on this route.
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